I arrived on Thursday evening, and was met at the airport by Lizarantha, who kindly gave me a ride to my hotel. Once we determined my life was probably not in danger if I stayed there, I got my stuff unpacked and we made plans to meet again in the morning to head to the convention.
Friday was a pretty relaxed day, as we didn't have anything we had to do. Liz picked me up and we went to breakfast, then to her place in order to make last-minute costume adjustments. There, I also got to see the lovely dress Reese made for me, the Good Tok'ra of the North gown from SG-1's 200th episode. I put it on, Liz got into her Tok'ra gear, and we were off to the con. The guests of the day were Cliff Simon (Ba'al) and Colin Cunningham (Major Davis). Both were fabulous, and though I'd had the chance to see both in person before, I was still impressed. Our costumes got a lot of notice and compliments, which was great. Cliff Simon must think the Tok'ra are stalking him (in fact, we joked with him about the same thing). We were able to gather a bit of intel...according to Cliff, there were 22 Ba'al clones in total and the original is still lurking about our fair planet somewhere. Good to know. Also, Ba'al will be featured in one of the SG-1 movies that's due to come out. I got a photo op with Colin, and Liz got one with Cliff, so we had some evidence of the fun we'd had that day. While we heard the cabaret was great, we didn't go, because we had a forty-five minute drive back to my hotel and Liz's house, and so it was back early for us, because Saturday was to be our big day.
And why was Saturday to be our big day? As the only attending members of the Tok'ra Resistance at this con, we got to present the membership plaque to JR Bourne for honorary membership in our group. On Friday, we approached Adam, the Creation guru who was running the show, and told him of our plans and asked if we could have just a minute to be able to do that. He invited us to do it during JR's talk on Saturday! It was more than we could have hoped for, and we were glad to have the opportunity. Adam was extremely gracious and nice about it, and for that he has our undying gratitude. As Liz said, "There will be no dissing of the Adam in our presence!"
And Saturday. Michael Shanks had to fly in that morning, causing the celebrity breakfast to get delayed from 8:30 am to 10:50. For those of us who had to drive in after eating a real breakfast with Liz, her hubby and child, we were very grateful for the delay. Thank you, Michael Shanks! The breakfast was a lot of fun, with Michael, Cliff, and Tony Amendola attending. While at our table, Tony touched the elephant-print leather in my Tok'ra costume and smiled, asking me if I had any more of that. He was great, chatting with us...man definitely knows how to work a crowd. Cliff enchanted us with tales from various films he'd made in Bulgaria, and Michael melted practically everybody when he started talking about his baby.
After breakfast, we had some time to get the rest of our costume together (in our hurry to make even a delayed breakfast, we'd left some pieces out in the car, like leg wrappings and wrist wraps and zats and belts....) As we dressed, a small crowd gathered, saying they wanted our pictures after we were done. Naturally, we were happy to oblige, and as we got the costumes together, we all chatted and joked about how the Tok'ra costume just does not lend itself well to getting dressed quickly. No wonder they wear the costume most of the time in the tunnels anyway; someone has to be dressed if the Goa'uld come. Our con-buddy, Joanne, had told us of her Adria the Orici costume, and we got to see it that day--lovely! She won Creation's costume contest, and rightfully so.
While Creation cons are not heavily costumed, we did run into a few other allies and posed for pictures with them as well.
Michael Shanks is charming onstage, and having done so many of these conventions, he deflects inappropriate questions with grace and humor. Michael Shanks was absolutely hilarious, giving us the quote of the weekend, when he realized he'd mentioned his "nuts" with children in the audience--"And, what I meant by that, kids, is...I have this tin of cashews, and they're very special to me..."
Tony Amedola (Bra'tac) had Obi Ndefo (Rak'nor) on stage with them, and both were wonderful. Tony and Obi loved working together, as they said, and they thought the costumes they wore on the show were great. Tony said he'd wear anything as long as it helped the audience understand the character more... Both were a lot of fun and incredibly gracious, especially when one fan mistook Tony for a different actor entirely. He laughed it off and told her a story about someone mistaking Carmen Argenziano for him.
David Hewlett (McKay from SG Atlantis) came with his sister Kate, his partner Jane, and a couple others to talk about their new movie "A Dog's Breakfast," which looks great. David and Kate have a fun, friendly sibling vibe, and she smacked him in the face unexpectedly to "get him back" for some of the digs he was making at her expense. A lot of fun.
We were walking to the parking lot to retrieve the plaque after the "Dog's Breakfast" preview and panel, and in the parking lot, took advantage of a few moments to slip into character. Lizarantha, of course, comes from the Tollan (as one congoer who heard the tale put it..."A Tollan Tok'ra? Oh, the arrogance!") she was quite enthralled with the star of the film...Mars, the dog. "Rhea! It was a dog! Have you ever seen a DOG before?" Rhea comes from an urban center on her planet, which does indeed have animals....."Yes, it's a dog. Come on, we have work to do." "But it was a dog!" This culiminated in me half-dragging her to the car, going on about Tollans and the lack of animals on their world.... :) (This scene, by the way, would be repeated when going to the car after Torri Higginson's presentation...you'll see why shortly.)
We had our autographs and photo ops with JR before he went onstage, And he smiled at our costumes and joked that he had no idea where he recognized them from. No, none at all, we were sure. Then came his presentation. Adam promised to give us an intro when he found the right opening. And JR invited his buddy Michael Trucco (Anders, Battlestar Galactica) to come by and check out the convention. The two are obviously good friends and they practically interviewed each other--it was great fun to watch.
Early on, someone asked JR about getting the role of Martouf and he's fumbling for the name of the spy which he auditioned for first (it was eight years ago, after all). And Audrey and I sing out in unison: "Cordesh!" He looks over at us and smiles, like he should've known. You ain't seen nothing yet, dude.
Michael talks a little about being a third leg of a triangle, and how he expected Anders to die (so did we all). And meanwhile JR is nodding wisely and kind of smiling, until Michael demands: "What?"
"That's exactly how Martouf died." *sniff* And he mentions how he got no fanmail before "Divide and Conquer". The PTB even asked him if he got any and he told them no (which, if true, makes me very sad). And then, telling us, he grinned and added, "But they got a lot of mail after Martouf died. A lot." Hee!
Michael and JR riff off each other. Canadian vs. American. How JR moved to LA and ended up getting a place only five blocks away and he goes to Michael's house for dinner all the time, because Michael's fiancee is a great cook. He invites himself to Michael's upcoming block party, until Michael shoots him down by saying it's "not a five-block party, only one." They go on like that for awhile, and it's hilarious.
The conversation between the two of them turns to Martouf and how as Martouf he had to wear all this tripe on his costume. And he realizes he doesn't have to explain, he has visual aides. So he askes, "Are the Tok'ra still here?" Like we went anywhere. But we take our cue and we stand up, and show our costumes to the audience and JR.
Adam grabs this perfect opportunity and announces that we have a presentation for JR. He looks surprised, but waits as we come up on stage. I'm carrying the plaque, and Michael crosses in front of me to get out of the way. Audrey explains to JR what we're doing on his stage, that we're part of a Tok'ra costuming group and how we invite all the actors who played Tok'ra to be honorary members. And we hand him the plaque.
He is flattered and pleased. And he reads the plaque aloud. He's amused by the Tok'ra patch once he figures out what it is (it's glued to the corner of the frame). The only odd thing is when he thinks that we're the ones who signed it and it's a bit awkward that no, we're somebody else. So we give our names. He gives us each a hug and a kiss and thanks us.
So, all in all, it went better than we could have hoped for. Mission accomplished, and two very happy fans to boot.
We'd been trying to find my friend Marya all weekend, and we finally did, so we went to dinner with her before the desert party...which was fabulous. JR, Colin, and Obi were the guests, and they were a lot of fun. Obi mentioned "Allegiance" as one of his favorite episodes, and it's one of ours too, so who can fault his taste? JR and Colin are obviously friends as well, as Colin was performing magic tricks for most of the tables, and JR told us how amazed he was by said tricks. He unbent a quarter Colin had bent a table over, and in general, we just had a lot of fun with actors. I even was sitting next to them, as there was an empty seat next to me.
We were happy fans, but tired at the end of the day, and so it was back to the hotel and home for us....
Sunday started later, and it was Atlantis Day, as we'd dubbed it, since all the actors were from Atlantis, which meant two things. We got to sleep later, and we could enjoy our later start as we'd decided to let the Tok'ra uniforms have a day off. I put on my desert camo and Liz wore regular clothes, but upon arriving at the convention, it became obvious we were already well-known as "the Tok'ra." Several people asked what happened to our costumes...the joke was that we'd gone undercover.
David and Kate Hewlett took the stage again, and this time, David was swinging his arm in the air to ensure he was at a safe distance from his lil' sis! David was also extremely complimentary of Amanda Tapping, saying she was one of those people in the world who just shines, and it was obvious he meant it. Having met her at Shore Leave, I totally agree.
Torri Higginson (Weir) is very sweet, and she brought her dog Sedgewick along. She's just so vibrant and energetic...and Sedge is adorable. Sedgewick was content to sleep at Torri's feet the whole talk. Torri joked she'd love the dog to have a permanent role on Atlantis...get a little earpiece for her....she runs in barking..."What's that? Shep's in trouble? He's in the well?"....
Jason Momoa (Ronon) was a lot of fun, too, and he talked about his Hawaiian roots, as well as finding out more about character on Atlantis as episodes progressed. Sateda was a good episode for him, but it also meant he had to learn more lines than usual! A kid asked what food he ate to make him so big and strong, and he said "Candy!"... We also got to see him acting like a monkey after another child mentioned her mom didn't really like monkeys.... ? I had a message from a mutual friend to pass along to him, and I got the chance in the autograph line, and he gave me a message to pass along back to her.
All in all, a very successful and fun weekend, and we're both very glad we went!
|By Rhea and LizIdarel|